The afternoon of Sunday, December 27th was a delicious one. Twenty-seven of the most beautiful people I know came out for Vita’s Soups Du Jour, an afternoon filled with warmth, bowls filled with ethnic soups, and saucers filled with sides. I created a menu that paired Indian Dal & Samosas, Mexican "Chicken" Tortilla Soup & Black Bean Corn Quesadillas, "Chicken" & Dumplings & Collard Green Wontons, and Italian Butternut Squash/Sweet Potato Soup & Spinach Tomato Mini Pizzas. This vegan and entirely vegetarian meal delighted all of the guests, even the self-proclaimed carnivores. I prepared the soups with the gracious help of my sister, Dawn, who along with my older daughter, Yetunde, chopped, assembled side dishes, cleaned and co-hosted. Guests brought wine, sparkling cider, orange juice, and champagne, good energy and lots of humor.
The recipes that I doubled, namely the dal and the quesadillas, ended up being too much; while the rest of the menu was just the right amount for about 30-35 people. Though there was lots of work on the front end–coming up with a diverse menu of soups and sides to go with them, shopping, designing/sending the evite, shopping at thrift stores for quality cups and saucers, and of course cooking–, the fellowship was all that a host could dream of.
Guests hung out for hours after the scheduled end of the festivities and played a very competitive game of Taboo; some were trying to learn my secrets. . .Like all chefs, I’ll divulge some things but never all. To whet your appetite, here is the recipe that inspired what seemed to be the biggest hit of the afternoon, Mexican “Chik’n” Tortilla Soup. For more, feel free to make a delicious request.